September 14, 2017
Native Floridian, Nick West, has completed his new book “To Light a New Fire”: an exciting story of adventure and romance featuring a young Potano trader named Naa-Sue, who lives in the central part of the peninsula, and Cato, the girl he loves, who lives in the coastal village of Selloy. One day, as he arrives near her village to begin trade, he is stunned to witness the arrival of a strange sailing ship! He had heard the stories of the Little People of the Sun and the terrible things they had done to his village years before he was born. He always thought they were just stories told to frighten children. Now, he has seen them for himself. On this trip he had intended to ask Cato’s father for his permission to marry his daughter and take her inland to live at his village. Now there was no choice and he had to hurry!
As pressure mounts on the native people of Florida, a war for their very survival becomes inevitable. Author West also successfully shows that in the midst of a terrible war, a mother’s words can soothe he most crestfallen and broken soul. Cato tells her son, “I have found that tomorrow you will be a little stronger and the day after that a bit more. There will always be a space in your soul for what you have lost, but time somehow dulls the pain. The Sun will still rise every morning. The rains will still come in the spring, and the wind will still whisper through the pines. Beauty is still here waiting to be discovered among the weeds. We do what we must to survive every day, and with the blessings of our ancestors, we will do it together.”
Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Nick West’s well-grounded account uses the historical facts he is able to acquire through his fascination with the first native Floridians and through years of research by many members of the faculty of the University of Florida who have devoted their entire careers to the study of these wonderful people. He builds on their research to produce a piece of historical fiction that is enjoyable for those who love action filled stories of the people who first lived in the wilderness of Florida. Moreover, Naa-Sue and Cato’s love for each other, and their ability to find happiness, even in a vanishing civilization makes one realize that all humans…